Chromeo, Mayer Hawthorne get crowds going

By Emma Kilcup

Chromeo and Mayer Hawthorne and the County got crowds heated up and dancing. Chromeo, Mayer Hawthorne and the County, Sammy Bananas

Mr. Small’s Theater

Grade: A

Chromeo and Mayer Hawthorne and the County got crowds heated up and dancing.

The groups performed at Mr. Small’s Theater on September 28th with Mayer Hawthorne and the County and Sammy Bananas. Initially set to grace the Stage AE, the change of venue provided the right atmosphere for the Chromeo crowd.

Jumping around the stage and enthusiastically getting the crowd to lift up their hands ‘Detroit-style’ — representing their hometown — Mayer Hawthorne got the crowd swaying and jamming, ready for the more dance-inducing act of the night: Chromeo.

Mayer Hawthorne and the County played some classics, presented some new releases and even brought it back old-school by covering part of Hall and Oates’ “ You Make My Dreams Come True.” The band proceeded to throw copies of their first record — a pink, heart-shaped album — to the crowd.

Presenting some synchronized dance moves as well as cool retro shades and some funky afro hairstyle, the Mayer Hawthorne and the County set the electro-funk tone of the night . Playing with different-colored lights, the band also prepped the crowd for the characteristic use of bright lights of the main act.

Following  the first act’s enthusiasm but taking over every inch of the stage, Chromeo debuted in front of classic Hollywood-style lights outlining the contrasting shadows of guitarist and vocalist Dave 1 (Macklovitch)  with that of synth/vocal box/ keyboardist P-Thugg, aka Patrick Gemayel.

Chromeo is known for the retro, hip-hop, 80’s-inspired synth music that offers the crowd the chance to dance or head-bob. Wearing a red leather jacket, Ray-bans and tight black pants, Macklovitch brought the retro while P-Thugg, in a signature trucker hat, too-large shirt and pants, brought the gangster. And, with songs ranging from “You’re So Gangsta” to “J’ai Claque la Porte,” the group brings these elements together in a way that Pittsburgh fans, and all those seeking the retro electro- pop enjoy.

The Montreal-based duo played tracks from their most recent album Business Casual (2010) as well as some older hits, including the one song I could sing along to, “Momma’s Boy.” The crowd turned into a mosh pit during well-known songs  “Night by Night” and “Hot Mess.”

While most musical groups cannot mirror the studio-perfected sound balance and crisp vocals of a CD, Chromeo made up for any imperfection with performance. The lights created an epic background for Macklovitch’s constant dancing—all over the stage, into the crowd and with some seemingly choreographed moves.

Macklovitch shouted to the crowd that they have only been to Pittsburgh one other time but followed it by saying that this is their “real” first time. According to him, they now love Pittsburgh. When he reached his hand out to the crowd, the Pittsburgh crowd showed their love right back as everyone ran  to the front to reach back.